Eight people were injured after the tyre of a car was shot out by a passenger of a vehicle with a flashing blue light in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday, KwaZulu-Natal police said.

Superintendent Henry Budhram said a black Mazda that was heading towards Durban was being followed by a police collision unit vehicle, when a black Volkswagen Golf with flashing blue lights sped up behind them. The police vehicle pulled over to allow the Golf to pass, but “at that moment the driver of the Mazda could not pull over as he was passing a truck.”

Budhram said that it is alleged that when the Mazda had then passed the truck and pulled over, a passenger in the Golf, which had dark tinted windows, wound down the window and shot the tyre of the Mazda.

“The driver of the Mazda lost control and his vehicle went into the oncoming traffic colliding with a bakkie in the north-bound lane.”

He said that the Golf sped off and the police’s collision unit vehicle could not catch up with it and the officers decided to render assistance to the injured.

Netcare 911 and ER24 reported that eight people were injured in the accident, four of whom were described as being in a serious condition.

Comment could not be immediately obtained from the driver of the Mazda, whose name and number are known to Sapa, as he was giving his statement to the police.

Budhram said: “It would appear to be a VIP vehicle.” He said that the police’s dog unit had been deployed and a spent cartridge was recovered from the accident scene.

KwaZulu-Natal transport spokeswoman Nonkululeko Mbatha confirmed the incident, but could not immediately provide further details.

The KZN Democratic Alliance has condemned the N3 accident and called on the police to investigate the “blue light” accident. “This incident is the worst display to date of the attitude that these blue light bullies are law unto themselves…treat citizens with disregard,” said DA spokesman, Randley Keys.

In May, an angry motorcyclist punched a KwaZulu-Natal provincial VIP driver after the VIP driver had crashed into the back of another car, seriously injuring its occupant on the N3 near Camperdown. In April 2007 the Witness newspaper reported that its switchboard was flooded with calls from motorists who said they were pushed off the N3 by a blue-light convoy, identified as being that of ANC president Jacob Zuma. It also reported at the time that a Pietermaritzburg man, Faizel Mooideen, had a rifle pointed at him and his family by security officers who tried to push them off a lane on the highway. At the end of the same month a motorist used his cellphone to provide the newspaper with video footage of KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sbu Ndebele’s convoy doing 160 kilometres an hour on the N3.